Bill Clinton v. George W. Bush?

I got this releae by e-mail from the Joe Sestak campaign:

Clinton Prosperity and Jobs vs. Bush Deficits and Recession?

[. . .] On the eve of President Clinton's visit to Pennsylvania, a close look at Congressman Toomey's choices and the Wall Street values that have led him to support the failed policies that have devastated Pennsylvania's economy show that his mindset would hurt Pennsylvania families all over again given the opportunity.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, President Clinton's fiscally responsible budgets and focus on tax breaks for working families created 87,000 new jobs per year in Pennsylvania over eight years. President Bush's fiscally irresponsible budgets and focus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans turned the largest budget surplus in history into massive, big government deficits. And during the entire Toomey-Bush period, Pennsylvania created a grand total of 67,000 jobs - fewer jobs for working families in eight years than President Clinton's priorities produced in just one year.

This is an interesting approach. Obviously Dems can't really brag about the Obama economy right now. Can they turn the 2010 elections into a Bush v. Bill Clinton affair? We'll see. Good place to start - repealing the Bush tax cuts.

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    Why stop there? Democrats should run (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:08:17 AM EST
    on the Teapot Dome scandal. That's where the real good stuff is.

    This is better then nothing, but I seriously doubt much traction can be gained by pointing to how successful the Democrats were some 2 decades ago when they've been failures in the present.

    One decade ago (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:11:56 AM EST
    And Bush was President 2 years ago.

    In any event, if you have a better plan, I'd like to hear it.

    Frankly, I can't think of a better one.


    As I've posted before, (none / 0) (#3)
    by steviez314 on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:16:58 AM EST
    "Restoring the Clinton tax rates" has good connotations beyond just taxes.

    I prefer that as a campaign slogan much more than "repealing the Bush tax cuts."  Tax cuts still mean good things to people, even if the rich benefit 100 times more than they do.


    I'll go for that (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:18:03 AM EST
    but Bush is still a toxic word I think.

    Run on the terrible things Republicans are (none / 0) (#9)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:02:48 AM EST
    doing right now. "Republicans want to, take away your unemployment safety net in the midst of recession, attack one of the bedrock amendments of the constitution, bolster FOREIGN big business... etc."

    and run on the actual accomplishments of the Democrats. "Out of Iraq, stopped the downward spiral of the financial markets..." well that's about it but still, it's something.


    Running against the GOPi (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:16:00 AM EST
    I agree, but on the economy - which means running against Bush.

    I have a better plan (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:05:46 AM EST
    Announce that the Bush tax cuts will be extended 10 years.

    Announce that we will do everything possible to drill for new oil and that cap and tax is off the table.

    And your next question is??


    So, what's the new Democratic slogan? (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:50:33 AM EST
    "We used to be good on the economy?"  

    Wow - that's a winner.

    I'll be waiting for the GOP ads that ask a couple of very relevant questions: who is the current president and why are the Dems running on Clinton policies 10 years after his term ended?  

    We all know the answer to that: because they can't run on this president's economic policies or the current economy.  And they can't run on what they have - and haven't done - to fix it.  Where's that big Jobs Bill anyway?  

    What a can of nice, fat worms this strategy opens up.

    As for what else the Dems could do, good Lord - they've had over a year and a half to do things that would have allowed them to run on the present instead of the past, so now, at the 11th hour, they are starting to smell the unemployment line, and have been reduced to floating rumors about loan forgiveness and "looking back" to a former Democratic president's policies?    

    This might be the worst strategy yet; even the much-loved "optics" are wrong.

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:17:58 AM EST
    But they do not have a hot tub time machine.

    campaign slogan (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kmblue on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:55:44 AM EST
    "Vote Dem!
     We may be stupid,
     but we're not evil."

    Slight revision... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 01:31:28 PM EST
    kmblue, last line should be "but we're still 10% less evil"...:)

    If polling shows that (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    re-runs are in, I say stick to  the tried and true, "Hope and Change".  

    Except that the subtext - that isn't so (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:34:02 AM EST
    "sub" anymore - is: [We] HOPE [you haven't noticed the lack of] CHANGE.

    It might take a chorus of real angels, and bona fide heavenly light, for anyone with any sense to believe that one again - by the time we're hearing and seeing that though, it will be too late, lol.


    Wow (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    So the guy they couldn't wait to slam as an evil vile racist (not to mention his evil vile racist wife) is now the guy they're looking to to save their bacon?

    Yeah, it's true they got nothing else, but that in itself is a glaring statement about what they've accomplished. No, they really don't have a better strategy. What else are they going to run on?

    If I gave a rip about the fortunes of the Democratic Party I would find this very sad.

    And you have to wonder (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:38:10 AM EST
    Is Obama also going to run on Clinton's record?  If not, whose?

    Why not? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:40:25 AM EST
    All Dems can run on the accomplishments of prior Dems - from FDR to Bill clinton.

    Indeed, one of my pet peeves with Obama was that he did not embrace the Democratic legacy, instead arguing for post partisan unity. The Dems have been right, they have been been for the Common Good, for decades.

    Why should we reject that legacy?


    Obama still has not embraced that (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 11:56:23 AM EST
    legacy in the most important way - by his actions - so, even if he and the party are all-too-happy to use Bill Clinton to minimize the mid-term damage, and keep their jobs, what's the real benefit to us?

    That Republicans would be worse?  Somehow, that doesn't scare me anymore.

    I don't know of any Dem voters, or any former Dem voters who are now independent, Green or undeclared, who have abandoned the Common Good agenda; if anything, it has been the neglect and/or abandonment of that principle by Obama and by many current members of the Democratic Congress and the party leadership that has turned so many Dem voters off.

    Just dragging Bill Clinton out so they can pretend they care about us isn't enough, and I don't see many signs that (1) they understand that, or (2) it's going to change anytime soon.


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 12:08:13 PM EST
    The Dems (and Obama in 2012) had one chance to run on Bill Clinton's record - 2008.  They didn't, so now anytime it's mentioned, it will be looked at skeptically (as it should)

    Remember that Reagan continued to run (none / 0) (#33)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 01:40:38 PM EST
    against Carter on the economy/memory of the 1980 economy during the mid-terms and the next election...and, it workded.

    what really worked (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 04:34:57 PM EST
    was having William Casey, GHW Bush & co work out a deal with the hostage holding Iranians in the summer and fall of '80..

    Reagan's? (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:58:13 AM EST
    And therein lies the problem (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:15:33 AM EST
    Run on this now and it comes back to bite you in 2012.  I expect Chris Matthews to mention this very thing.

    Sestak was a Clinton supporter (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:18:39 AM EST
    Sestak served as a security policy adviser (none / 0) (#31)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 01:22:48 PM EST
    in the Clinton White House.  And Bill Clinton is coming to Pennsylvania later this week to campaign for Sestak.  This announcement, I'm sure, is related to the latter fact.

    Sure (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:18:42 PM EST
    But I simply think Sestak won't be mentioning Obama a lot in this campaign.

    I should add that when the Democratic (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:18:05 AM EST
    party decided to not care in the least about unemployment in this country starting way back in January/February 2009 they shot themselves in the foot and utterly ruined their chances for 2010 and 2012. Not a big mystery. Thanks Obama/Nelson/Reid/Pelosi.

    Pelosi should not be included (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:19:07 AM EST
    in that list.

    While I hold Pelosi in higher esteem then (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:23:18 AM EST
    any of the other three she can't escape the fact that she is one of the 3 top leaders of the country and failed to beat the drum for job creation in any meaningfull way when it counted.

    Meaningful (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:27:31 AM EST
    would be defined as successful I take it?

    Look, the most powerful person, apologists notwithstanding, is the President of the United States. Pelosi did as much as I think she could, given her position.

    I think your critique is unfair.


    By meaningful I only mean public (none / 0) (#21)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:32:25 AM EST
    and frequent. Pelosi should have been beating down the doors of every news outlet in this country  talking about the need for job creation and the Democrats desire/plan to do so. Every single day since the crisis started that should have been her goal... but she remained basically silent on the issue.

    The leader of the Dem Party (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:34:26 AM EST
    is the President of the United States.

    As Speaker of the House, Pelosi can only stray so far from her party's leader. See was not some backbencher.


    Obama doesn't sign her paycheck. She (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by tigercourse on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:48:21 AM EST
    doesn't work for him. Yes, the buck stops with Obama but the Speaker of the House has a responsibility to the country that supersedes following Obama off a cliff.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by efm on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 11:40:13 AM EST
    He may be the leader of the party, but i don't think the country wants robots for politicians that only vote for what their party says to vote for or to only talk about subjects that are approved by the DNC or the GOP.

    While recalling the successes (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 09:48:46 AM EST
    of President Clinton will help, the failures of Bush have already been greeted by the electorate in congressional races of 2006 (in large measure on the Iraq war) and in the presidential campaign of  2008 (on images of change and the reality of the economic downturn).  Not too  much more to be gained from beating that dead horse.  Cheney is always good for a well-deserved lash or two, but that approach is becoming unseemly given his serious medical deterioration and assuming he, once again, stays out of the limelight.

    It seems to me that the Democrats will now have to run on the reality of the changes the electorate previously hoped for, moving from a defensive to offensive position, as best as they can.  And, giving Timothy Geithner the job of explaining the steps taken and the intended results is not such a good strategy.

    See the succeeding elections after 1980 (none / 0) (#34)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 01:44:09 PM EST
    Reagan patented the use-winning-theme-as-long-as-you-can...and, it worked for him in 1984 as well.

    Not the same time (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:30:03 PM EST
    Today with more media, the Internet, YouTube, etc. a politician can't just rely on people's memories.  Reagan also had the added bonus of being "on the right side" with regards to Iran, since the hostages were freed "on his watch".

    Not the same at all.


    Reagan also survived (none / 0) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 03:10:13 PM EST
    an assassination attempt that gave him inherent sympathy.

    Next you'll be talking about RFK (none / 0) (#41)
    by Cream City on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:16:22 PM EST
    and you know what doing that was called in 2008!

    Knocking on wood, crossing fingers to ward off evil.  Our dear leaders and the country do not need even a discussion of this now.


    In regards to the Toomey-Sestak (none / 0) (#19)
    by Makarov on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 10:25:07 AM EST
    race, Pat Toomey (the Republican) has been airing TV ads non stop since May. Many are attack ads on Sestak, claiming he 'voted to ban private health insurance' (that may be in reference to a committee vote on the Kucinich Amendment that gave states the right to establish their own single payer health care systems, which ultimately failed to get even a floor vote) and votes in lock step with Nancy Pelosi. Recent negative ads have been funded the US Chamber of Commerce

    Some are positive ads, with the tag line 'More jobs, Less Government, Pat Toomey'. I'd say the majority of ad buys are with local network affiliates, ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC, coming during local ad times before, during and after local news but also during national broadcasts in prime time. There have also been some local cable ad buys.

    In contrast, I haven't seen one Sestak ad since the primary. Joe seemed to have plenty of money then, and his ads seemed to air just as frequently as Toomey's have since.

    I live in south central PA, with TV stations airing from Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster. While not the largest media market in the state, it's certainly not the smallest either.

    I wonder if the Sestak campaign went into debt during the primary. They seemed to spend very big then. Why the complete silence since? Maybe they're saving for September/October. No word yet on the prospects of a Toomey-Sestak debate, but they've been invited to participate at the same time as a gubernatorial debate in Sept.

    Teevee ads heating up here (none / 0) (#37)
    by Cream City on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 02:46:14 PM EST
    in the heartland, too -- vicious attacks on the (Obama choice for) Dem candidate for governor and attacks on Feingold.  All are really against Dems, et al., and are running often in the top Dem stronghold in the state, a costly ad buy, so the GOP coffers are deep to be so ramping up already.

    And even before the ads began to ramp up in the last week or so, the polls are showing that Dem candidates for governor, Congress, etc., are in a world of trouble in a very economically troubled state, one that has not gotten its fair share of stimulus funding, among other stories run here.  And a state that was the most purple prior to 2008, so it may not prove difficult at all to reverse the pro-Dem fluke of that year, I fear.


    Here in blue Alexandria, VA (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 04:50:54 PM EST
    Tons of signs for "www.RetireJimMoran.com"

    (Jim Moran being the former mayor of Alexandria, and a Congressman since 1991).

    No pro-Moran signs around my neck of the woods.